Saturday, July 18, 2009

Summer Reading for Grownups

Libraries are busy in this financial climate. As the ALA poster in the Springfield Town Library said in the late 70s and early 80s, when I worked there, "Libraries will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no libraries."

I spend my summers traveling from library to library, telling stories for summer reading programs. I love seeing kids get excited about reading and coming to the library. This summer for the first time, I joined the adult reading program at my library. The theme is "Master the Art of Reading." The challenge was to read four books that were about art.

Here's what I read:

I blogged about The Music Teaching Artist's Bible last week. Lots to chew on.

The Venetian's Wife is by Nick Bantock, who does a charming combination of correspondence, illustration, collage and diary entries to create a compelling story. I'd say more but I don't want to ruin it for you. Fun!

I listened to The Vanished Smile on CD. I probably should have borrowed the book, as I found myself annoyed by the reader. For me, the success of a recorded book depends greatly on the reader. The topic was interesting, if the delivery was not--it's the account of the theft of the Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911.

I began with part II of Manu Larcenet's graphic novel Ordinary Victories, and then went back to read part I (that's why I have five books on my list). It's a very French bande dessinée (loosely, comic book) for grownups, about a photographer and his life struggles. I enjoyed it very much.

Today I took my completed form to the library and was given a bag of swag: a note cube, a pencil, a small Be creative @ your library notepad, and coupons for several arts-related events, stores and restaurants in town. Now my name will be entered for the Big Prize (I forget what it is).

I don't need incentives to read. It's what I do. Still, it's nice that the library encourages grownups as much as kids.


Anonymous said...

Hi Priscilla -

Great blog. Thanks.

I tell stories for grownups over at 'Moon Over Martinborough,' my blog about being an expat American city boy in living in rural New Zealand. I write about our olive grove, our chickens, and our geriatric rooster.

Storytelling's not just for kids, right?!

PriscillaHowe said...

Too right! I love telling stories to grownups. It's funny how surprised adults are to find that they still love stories.